4. Even when you find your “people”, always leave room at the table to invite someone new in. Last Friday night we took my daughter and some friends to a restaurant to celebrate her birthday. A classmate was eating nearby with her family, and we invited her to join us. This girl was a delight, and I fell in love with her. I was thankful to meet her since my daughter had never been in her class or had the same activities.
Monday at school, she gave [my] daughter a friendship bracelet that she’d made as a thank you. I was speechless, because what this girl didn’t realize what was a gift she was to us.
This event reminded me of what can happen when you invite someone new to join you, and how many great opportunities we all let pass by when we’re hyper-focused on our friends. One regret I have from high school and college is not reaching out more beyond my circle and letting God open the door to unexpected blessings. Be smarter than me and learn this lesson early.
5. Love your friends well, but keep a loose grip. Give them space to explore new friendships and explore new friendships yourself. The great thing about middle school is that there are so many people to meet. As multiple elementary schools merge, it’s a prime opportunity to make new friends and get to know different people who bring out different sides of you. Stay loyal to your old friends and know who you count on, but keep yourself open to making fun new connections.